I asked this question on Facebook a few months ago trying to see what people thought and no one really had anything to say. So I'm going to try it here. There are lot of intelligent, socially aware people in this community and I'd like to hear their opinion on this.
I don't understand why this is even a thing. Did not our ancient brethren venture out and conquer and rape and pillage and force their cultures on the defeated? Did not trade routes open to the general benefit of most, introducing products and practices and cultures of those they traded with? Is that not the way of the world in general? So why are some people upset about this?
I suppose that the concept of "cultural theft" is specifically American, because I have never heard of it before in Germany. It does not make sense to me, as "culture" is nothing that can be owned by anybody - and without the underlying concept of "ownership" the concept of "theft" is meaningless.
Ideas can be owned by those who came up first with them (= "intellectual property" ) , but a whole culture...?
A culture consists of many artifacts, values and ideas, and all of them can move more or less freely between communities, just like genetic material can move among bacteria. Cultural cross-fertilization is as old as humanity...
I wonder why people get cranky about cultural appropriation. I thought imitation was flattery. The last cranky video I saw was about white girls getting black girl hair-dos. Could there possibly be a good reason for complaining or is it a sign of having very little troubling you?